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Ask Dr. Snoot

Dr. Snoot is the universe's premiere problem solver. He's a Doctor of Philosophy, a Doctor of Pyschology, a Lord of the Dance, a Lawyer -- no -- Judge, Doctor of Love, a Spin Doctor, an Archaeologist, Sandwich Artist, and even one of those real doctors who can prescribe pills or cut you open to rearrange your insides, whatever those are called.

Best of all, Dr. Snoot loves to solve your stupid problems. He'll even do it for free! Just go ahead and tell him your problem, like you're writing into some pathetic newspaper column. But Dr. Snoot isn't just some hack columnist, he's the real deal! (Look at his monocle!)

To ask Dr. Snoot a question, or ask him for advice on your troubles, visit the submission form. To just read about other people's problems, look below or click on the months to read back-issues.

Problems solved by Dr. Snoot

9 / 2003

4 / 2003

6 / 2002

2 / 2002

12 / 2001

10 / 2001

9 / 2001

Dinner Dilemma
Doctor Snoot,

Now is the time of that vital question "What should I have for dinner?" Since I am indecisive,
I decided to ask you.

- Hungry Hippo

Since this is coming from a hungry hungry hippo, you're wondering whether you should eat red, yellow, blue or green marbles for dinner. Well, marbles are really tasty, and you should definitely eat as many as you can, but the red ones are the best. (They're high on my list of favorite foods, along with red-flavor Starburst and Jolly Rancher candies.)
 
Telepathic Computer
Dear Doctor Snoot?
I don't have much time~ gotta get this down fast before the puter realizes what I'm doing and I forget what I was going to ask.
How can I tell if the puters reading my mind? ~or worse; deleting my thoughts before I know I'm thinking them!
Hope this gets to you!
Thanx.
on the Fly,
Blue Crow

- Blue Crow

Blue Crow:

This is an excellent question. One way to tell if a computer is reading your mind is to read its mind. Here, I'll show you how.

Start by getting your hands on a big magnet, a really giant strong one. Rare Earth magnets seem to be particularly strong, presumably because they're rare. You'll also need a screwdriver. Make sure the tip is not magnetic, since that can damage your computer.

Yank all the wires out of the back of the computer, and then unscrew the screws and open it up. Make sure you're properly grounded; computers are very sensitive to static electricity! Now, hold the magnet up to its hard drive or C.P.U. or something else that's important, and go, "Zes!! Now zou vill tell us zee truze! Are zou reading my mvind!!"

I'm sure you can handle the rest.

 
Optical Mice
I have an optical mouse at my desk. What's the best way to use it to blind the person working across from me with it? Should I spread my experiment out over several weeks? Tie him down and do it in one burst?

- Annoyed at my iMac

Ah, Mr. iMac, an age old dilemna. I remember the days well at the Snootopia Institute for Science. I was just a young intern trying to analyze the carcinogenic properties of watermelons (they're safe!). I would hold my indostropic laser slicing device fondly, but my mind was overflowing with malicious dreams. Dreams of blinding my lab partner. Over the course of a week the fantasies became more and more intense. Swish went the laser device. Pop went the eyeballs. SWISH went the laser device. POP went the eyeballs.


But alas, in reality, I knew it could not be so. The laser device, while apt at cutting watermelons, was just not powerful enough to blind a snoot. Luckily I am a premiere problem solver. I took the laser device home for intense study. After many weeks in my domestic laboratory I had come up with a solution. The following day I returned to the Snootopia Institute, and I welcomed my lab partner.


"Hello," I said to my partner.

"Hello," he said in return: taunting me with his ability to see.


I then poked him in the eye with my indostropic laser slicing device. My calculations proved to be correct! The snoot was blinded. I then entered a long period of mourning in which I collected my Doctorate in Empathic Grief.


So, to answer your question, the best way to blind your coworker with an optical mouse is to poke him in the eye with it. You don't need to spread your experiment over several weeks, it is a 5 second procedure. Only tie him down if he's capable of beating you senseless, even without vision.


However, I strongly recommend against blinding your coworker. While it's true that you'll destroy his vision, you'll also tarnish your soul. And you seem to have a nice soul.
 
Mathematical Illogism
Dear Dr Snoot...

Something hurts my sense of mathematics, and I cant find an answer by myself...

Why are hotdog breads sold by 3, and hotdog saussages sold by 5 ?

This is torturing me, please help !

- Orme Skaya

Orme,

Hotdogs are designed to be eaten in groups of 15. This is not a mathematical illogism, for 15 is indeed the lowest common denominator of 3 and 5. Ah, how the scientific perfection of the supermarket industry fills me with joy!
 

6 / 2001

Time travel during sleep
Doctor Snoot, in my sleep I experience grandangular visions of the macrocosmic wake that awaits us.

There are things I can't just describe, the future, the future year 2035 flows before my eyes in all its unexplicable terror and beauty.

I need my sleep, at work I can't hold my eyes opened, my ears drum with words from the future! The future, terrible, fascinating, colored future!!!

- Doctor FARINA

So called Doctor FARINA,

In order to understand your situation, first you need to know about the various factors which contribute to time travel.

1. Flux Capacitors. If you have any of these near your bed, you should get rid of them.

2. Relics. Relics have all kinds of nasty effects, particularly the sort known as "dark side" relics. In general, having around cursed artifacts can be trouble for sleepy-time.

3. Telephone Booths. Some telephone booths are equipped with illegal time-travel circuitry, which AGAINST VERIZON'S DIRECT WISHES enables the consumer to travel backwards and forwards in time.

So if you want to keep from slipping through time in your sleep, check to see if you have any of these contributing factors around (perhaps hidden by your enemies -- or -- ninjas?), and destroy them. But listen: psycho-unstable wacked-out visionaries are much more important to society than your average, healthy 9-5 employee. Personally, I say you've got a good thing going -- own it, man. Just don't send me any bombs.

 

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